Today's News

  • Varnamtown native celebrates 71st with birthday backflip

    VARNAMTOWN—O’Neal “Knot” Varnam celebrated his 71st birthday Monday by doing his annual backflip into the Lockwood Folly River.

    After checking the water to make sure there were no logs or other objects that might hinder his style, the Varnamtown resident climbed the ladder to the top of a wooden piling at the boat docks next to Garland’s Seafood and performed a quick backward somersault into the water.

  • Mother of 'Black Widow's' dead husband still seeking answers in her son's death

    It’s been almost 23 years since Gloria Rehrig has heard her the sound of her son’s voice. It is a sound she longs for daily.

    “I still miss my son very much; he was my baby,” she said this week.

    In December 1985, Gloria Rehrig received the call any parent would dread—her son, Alan Rehrig, was found shot to death in his car.

    While the murder weapon was never recovered, Gloria Rehrig said investigators determined the path of the bullet would have been fired from the passenger seat.

  • Man charged with two area break-ins

    Brunswick County Sheriff’s detectives recently charged a Winnabow man with two counts of breaking and entering, stemming from June break-ins.

    Elliott Naylor Jr., 45, of Funston Road, was charged with two counts of breaking and entering. According to Sgt. Steve Mason, Naylor and an accomplice, who died in late-June of a drug overdose, broke into two homes June 10.

    The first breaking and entering was reported on Sellers Road in Supply. A TV and miscellaneous coins were reported stolen.

  • K-9 Enforcement Team round-up

    The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office recently launched its newest law enforcement initiative, the K-9 enforcement team.

    The team, comprised of five K-9 officers and their dogs, is similar to the sheriff’s office community policing program, which targets areas with high crime and drug activity, but the K-9 enforcement team is its own patrol division.

    The K-9 enforcement team answers calls, conducts driver’s license checkpoints and assists with other agencies when K-9s are needed.


    Officers with the Holden Beach Police Department investigated the following incidents and made the following arrests last week. All information is taken directly from incident logs and arrest reports.

    •Larceny on Ocean Boulevard West; suspect stole bikes from victim’s home.

    •Larceny on Jordan Boulevard; suspect stole victim’s bike from the handicap access ramp.

    •Larceny on Ocean Boulevard West; suspect stole bikes from a rental company.


    Agents with the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Drug Enforcement Unit made the following arrests last week. The suspects and their charges, which are taken directly from arrest reports, are:

    •Matthew Deante Hewett, 24, of 1803 Turkey Trap Road, Supply; charged with felony possession of cocaine, possession of ounce or less of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Hewett was taken to the Brunswick County Detention Center where he was placed on a $7,000 secured bond.


    Shallotte police charged the following people and investigated the following incidents last week. All information is taken directly from police reports.

    •Police charged Derek Shawon Johnson, 28, of Johnson Way, Supply, with possession of cocaine and possession of marijuana. He was taken to the Brunswick County Detention Center on a $5,000 secured bond.


    Sunset Beach police investigated a Sept. 3 report of an electronic device lost at a local grocery store.

    The computer-like, handheld device used to order food was reported missing at Food Lion, 1775 Clipper Way in the Village at Sunset Beach. It is valued at $6,000.

  • Leland man arrested for murder

    Less than 400 yards from where the body of Valerie Burns was found in her burning car lived the man detectives have charged with her murder.

    Sheriff’s detectives arrested Carl Henry Alston, 35, on Thursday, Sept. 4, and charged him with murder. While in custody at the Brunswick County Detention Center under no bond Friday, Sept. 5, detectives charged Alston with first-degree rape and first-degree kidnapping.

    Burns, 49, of Bluff Drive in Leland, was last seen early on the morning of July 30 leaving downtown Wilmington.

  • 'Black Widow' gets two years

    She goes by many names.

    Some people know her only as the “Black Widow.”

    But Sandra Camille Powers will soon be known for her federal inmate number rather than by one of her many aliases.

    Dubbed the “Black Widow,” by the media, Powers, 64, will spend the next two years in federal prison.

    But the woman who became notorious for, but never formally charged with, a trail of dead husbands, will serve time in prison for identity theft, not murder.